If you have a free day on Tuesday this summer, here is something worth considering.
Thanks to DLR who organised Summer of Heritage, you can go onto a FREE guided tour of Monkstown Castle. The tours are organised every Tuesday at 2pm, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm. The last tour: 1st September 2015. It’s a must for anyone passionate about Irish history. You could combine the tour with a walk along the sea and a lunch in one of the many cafes in Monkstown Village. Perfect afternoon!
About the Castle
The Castle was constructed in the 13th century and was expanded over centuries. It was built by the monks of the great Cistercian house of the blessed Virgin Mary to protect the valuable agricultural land and fisheries they had established in the area. They arrived here in 9th century. They owned land between Blackrock, Three Rock Mountain and Dalkey. They controlled two harbors: Dalkey and Bullock Harbor – the only sea access to Dublin at the time. After confiscation of the property by King Henry VIII in 1539 the castle and the land changed owners with every change of the power in Ireland.
In 1780s the house was an example of the finest residence in Dublin. By 1837 it went into ruin. At present it is owned by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. DLR made some repairs to preserve the monument. Currently the ground level is approx. 1 meter above the historical ground level. You can spot windows placed 20-30 cm above the ground now. The site was never excavated. Located at the busy roundabout, the castle doesn’t attract much attention. It’s very peaceful and almost forgotten.
All you need to know:
- FREE Tours every Tuesday till 1st September 2015
- Hourly from 2pm-5pm ( 4 tours per day)
- Guided Tour Duration: 40 min
- Max capacity: 30 people
- Meeting point in front of the castle entrance
If you still have energy to go for a walk, head towards the coastline, which displays many historical buildings of the Victorian, Georgian and Edwardian periods. One of the most notable buildings of the Salthill and Monkstown area is a Martello Tower built around 1804, located at Seapoint beach. There you can spot people enjoying a swim and, when the wind is strong enough, kite surfers. And the sunsets are one in a kind.
If you get hungry or just fancy a coffee…
I would recommend a short walk to Cafe du Journal. It’s my favourite place in Monkstown Village that serves amazing brunch and lunch. On Fridays and Saturdays they are open late and you can enjoy a main with a glass of wine for €15 (bargain!). You will love their selection of cakes and freshly baked pastries. They have gluten free options on menu as well to suit everyone. I would usually go there for my Sunday lunch and enjoy the buzz of the place. You will meet there stylish older ladies and gentlemen, families with cute kids and young couples recovering after good night out the day before. The walls are decorated with bookshelves filled with variety of random books and the seats have an endless collection of cushions which adds an extra coziness. The staff is very friendly and makes you feel home. There is always a good vibe in this place.